China and France should strengthen high-level exchanges to enhance mutual trust and deepen strategic cooperation on both bilateral and international issues, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday.
Wang arrived in France on Wednesday for a two-day visit, which will pave way for Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to France next year which marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The trip to France is Wang's first official visit to Europe as foreign minister. He met French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and exchanged views with them on hot international topics including the Syrian and Iranian issues.
"The relations between China and France go far beyond the bilateral realm and have distinct strategic importance. Therefore we should strengthen not only our bilateral cooperation but also coordination on major international issues," Wang said at a news conference.
China and France have vast potential to cooperate in areas such as urbanization, information technologies and agricultural modernization, he said.
Wang also reiterated China's position on the Syrian issue which is to support the settlement of the crisis through political means.
"China supports the second round of Geneva peace talk and the international community should create favorable conditions for various parties in Syria to reach a consensus for the settlement," he said.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will soon visit China for the preparation of the 50th anniversary of China-France relations, according to the French Foreign Minister Fabius.
He said that France has decided to further simplify the visa application procedures for Chinese citizens, which will allow them to get French visa in just two days.
Fabius also noted that the French government wants to deepen cooperation with China on environmental issues as Paris will hold the United Nations Climate Conference in 2015.